News Is a corporation a person?

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MarcoD

Yes, an experiment is in order here. On your next stroll (in this world) simply grab for the first wallet or purse you see and report back.
You like being offensive, right? As I stated, I value maximal free individual life. That leads to, for example, that I like initiatives like free public transport, state owned roads, state owned electricity, etc. I don't mind living in an utopia.
 
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I just don't believe in capitalism. It's a manner of organizing an economy, but -again- it is amoral. To me, you might as well believe in a cash-register.

I think where people mean capitalism, they mostly mean something else. But because they mean something else, there is a stand-still in development of ideologies which may serve the public interest better.
What specifically DO you believe in if not Capitalism? Also, why is Capitalism "amoral"?
 

MarcoD

What specifically DO you believe in if not Capitalism? Also, why is Capitalism "amoral"?
I believe in individual freedom. The pursuit of 'bling-bling,' I find limits people's freedom. Moreover, since capitalism in essence stems from the concept of ownership, but apart from that doesn't deal with human values, I find it an amoral concept. (In the sense that you have moral (ethics), immoral (contrary to ethics) and amoral (being without ethics).)

I therefor reject, for example, free-market ideologies (or believing in that as a solution to anything) since an ideology like that doesn't have any bearing to humans, and therefor cannot solve any human problem.

Life is not that simple, I believe in a mix of ideas, that we should work towards the best world possible for everyone around, and that that probably only includes a very limited form of capitalism.

(For example, I also reject the principle of borrowing money to people.)

EDIT: I am somewhat like Noam Chomsky, although he is way more radical than me, and arrives at better thought trough conclusions.
 
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russ_watters

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Right. Who's real world?
There is only one real world. There is no matter of belief here, only factual reality. That seems to be a big problem with many of your posts in this thread: you're arguing theory and belief about things for which an objective reality exists. Like gravity, capitalism doesn't care whether you believe in it or not. It exists either way.
 

mheslep

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You like being offensive, right?...
The response in one form or another that there is no common reality ("who's real world") must be one the most common methods of derailing discussions. It nicely sidesteps most further logical argument. I attempted to put a stop to it by throwing some humor on the suggestion, not you personally.
 
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I believe in individual freedom. The pursuit of 'bling-bling,' I find limits people's freedom. Moreover, since capitalism in essence stems from the concept of ownership, but apart from that doesn't deal with human values, I find it an amoral concept. (In the sense that you have moral (ethics), immoral (contrary to ethics) and amoral (being without ethics).)

I therefor reject, for example, free-market ideologies (or believing in that as a solution to anything) since an ideology like that doesn't have any bearing to humans, and therefor cannot solve any human problem.

Life is not that simple, I believe in a mix of ideas, that we should work towards the best world possible for everyone around, and that that probably only includes a very limited form of capitalism.

(For example, I also reject the principle of borrowing money to people.)
It sounds as though you aren't sure what you actually believe in - you just know what you don't like - correct?

Unfortunately, I don't think you can cite ethics without a well-defined "concept" of right and wrong in place - a moral compass requires a level of definition beyond a moving target of personal likes and dislikes.
 

MarcoD

It sounds as though you aren't sure what you actually believe in - you just know what you don't like - correct?

Unfortunately, I don't think you can cite ethics without a well-defined "concept" of right and wrong in place - a moral compass requires a level of definition beyond a moving target of personal likes and dislikes.
Why not? A pragmatist philosopher like Rorty would fervently disagree with that. Even if we don't know what exactly right, or wrong, is, we can simply use it.
 

russ_watters

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I still don't see how taxes = "GUN TO THE HEAD!" Maybe it's just the hyperbolic rhetoric. So answer me this:

Would you prefer the government was entirely supported by voluntary donations? How much money do you think the government would have in this situation?
I think you may be reading more into it than is there, though I've never heard that specific characterization, that I can remember. Through the rhetoric is the fact that taxes are taken from you by force, if necessary. Stating this fact does not necessarily imply that a person thinks they should be abolished.
 
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Why not? A pragmatist philosopher like Rorty would fervently disagree with that. Even if we don't know what exactly right, or wrong, is, we can simply use it.
Situational ethics may work for a "pragmatist philosopher" - but not going to be very well accepted in the business world - the basis of the OP.
 

MarcoD

The response in one form or another that there is no common reality ("who's real world") must be one the most common methods of derailing discussions. It nicely sidesteps most further logical argument. I attempted to put a stop to it by throwing some humor on the suggestion, not you personally.
Ah humor! Excuses then, I misunderstood. Reducing something to a real world perspective is, of course, derailing a discussion too. I believe it and I already said that it boils down to beliefs. You can discuss beliefs, but reducing it to 'I am the only one who stems from the real world, you don't seem to, therefor my view is true" is an ad hominem.

EDIT: Let's stop this thread, at least questioning me. I commented on socialism, and gave some answers to questions what I found on capitalism and socialism. That should be enough.

EDIT: I am not going to respond anymore on this thread but as an example why capitalism is amoral: Do we have a financial crisis? We don't. We have a human crisis. Capitalism just works, but since it was never designed to really solve human problems, it is in need of constant fixing.
 
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russ_watters

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You're wrong Marco. This is not the philosophy forum and while the OP made a bit of a mess of things, the issue being discussed is first and foremost a legal reality. Arguing nonexistent or even factually wrong hypotheticals or beliefs is the derail.
 

BobG

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You know, I've noticed something about the Conservatives and Libertarians around me lately. The majority of them talk about taxes as being a gun to your face. Could one of you explain why that is? Are you that eager to feel threatened or do you really think that if you don't pay your taxes you'll get shot?
Taxes on an activity (such as earning a living) are enforced by the state. Refusal to pay can eventually lead to criminal sanctions. Resistance will be met by force. Is this crystal clear?
This is true. Failing to obey the speed limit could get you shot. In fact, continuing to speed and run red lights when a police officer tries to pull you over would probably have better odds of getting you shot than failing to pay your taxes.

But neither would have very high odds since there's usually less drastic means of resolving the situation. One would have to be anticipating a very radical means of resisting paying their taxes to run the risk of being shot.
 

Evo

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One would have to be anticipating a very radical means of resisting paying their taxes to run the risk of being shot.
Someone finds out that you haven't been paying taxes, they've been paying taxes, their home was just foreclosed and their car repossessed and they have a gun... :frown:
 

RudedawgCDN

Arguing nonexistent or even factually wrong hypotheticals or beliefs is the derail.
Everything I quoted are common right wing / republican talking points.

So I fail to see where anything is either factually wrong or nonexistant.

Just because you personally haven't heard or seen it - doesn't mean it hasn't been espoused numerous times by Republicans and right wing talk show hosts.
 
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Everything I quoted are common right wing / republican talking points.

So I fail to see where anything is either factually wrong or nonexistant.

Just because you personally haven't heard or seen it - doesn't mean it hasn't been espoused numerous times by Republicans and right wing talk show hosts.
It should be very easy for you to support with creditable sources then - shouldn't it?
 

Char. Limit

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I think you may be reading more into it than is there, though I've never heard that specific characterization, that I can remember. Through the rhetoric is the fact that taxes are taken from you by force, if necessary. Stating this fact does not necessarily imply that a person thinks they should be abolished.
I have heard that exact characterization repeatedly by a certain outspoken libertarian on a different forum. Sorry about the implication that such a person who says so thinks taxes should be abolished, but said person on this other forum happens to believe that exact thing, and through him I've come to associate the two ideas with each other.

It is not my opinion that I pay too much in taxes, because at my current level of income I pay almost no taxes. I do believe that there need to be deep cuts in spending, but at the same time I look at what corporations do when regulations are released for them (Enron, BP, Wall Street, you get the idea), and I feel that some form of regulation is necessary for these corporations, because while the ideal of a free market is wonderful, there are too many examples of people who are not ideal for it to be feasible in the real world.

As for whether corporations should be allowed to contribute to political campaigns, and whether there should be limits on such a thing, I'm of two minds on that issue. On the one hand, there seems to be no reason why a corporation should not be allowed to dump its money in support of a candidate. On the other hand, this DOES seem to undermine the idea of a democratic republic, in which a candidate is elected according to the will of the people, and not the business owners. This particular moral dilemma is not one that I have resolved yet.

And as for the idea that taxes involve force, well, most human interaction involves force in one way or another. Companies compete for your market because of the force that your business carries. If they raise the price, they'll shop somewhere else. There's a kind of threat in that. And the government does need tax money, and it needs enforcement of this tax money, or (in my opinion) almost no one would pay much at all into the government's coffers. However, I do wish the government would be a lot more responsible with the money that they do gather.

I'll end this babbling rant by saying this: While corporations ideally do have a right to put their money, for the most part, where they want, this particular idea (funding political campaigns) undermines the ideals of a democratic republic.
 

mege

I'll end this babbling rant by saying this: While corporations ideally do have a right to put their money, for the most part, where they want, this particular idea (funding political campaigns) undermines the ideals of a democratic republic.
First, I think your post was well written for the amount of content, not babbling :p

Second, why is it appropriate to discount a political donor because they own a company? That seems discriminatory based on occupation. You might as well say 'no plumbers can donate money' or 'no teachers can donate political money'

Also, how is supporting a candidate via monetary donations undermining the ideals of a democratic republic? What I feel is bad is that political organizations taking (laundering) donations are allowed to be tax shelters, so it unfairly encourages this type of action.
 

Char. Limit

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First, I think your post was well written for the amount of content, not babbling :p

Second, why is it appropriate to discount a political donor because they own a company? That seems discriminatory based on occupation. You might as well say 'no plumbers can donate money' or 'no teachers can donate political money'

Also, how is supporting a candidate via monetary donations undermining the ideals of a democratic republic? What I feel is bad is that political organizations taking (laundering) donations are allowed to be tax shelters, so it unfairly encourages this type of action.
Well, the thing is, teachers and plumbers can't throw the entire bank account of their business at the politician. That's the difference. I'm all for a business owner donating his own money to a candidate. Where I start to get worried is when he's donating the company's money. That's where it becomes less of election by the people and more election by the businesses.
 

DoggerDan

Bible quote: "a rich man will have as much chance getting into heaven as a camel will getting through the eye of a needle".
The small door set in the large gates to a city was called "the eye of the needle." After dark, when the city gates were close, travelers would have to kneel their camels and get them to crawl through the small doors, a very difficult task. Their only option was leaving them outside the gates where thieves would likely steal them in the night.

The parable had to do with letting go of one's possessions. The poor have few, so it's easier.

Jesus believed in taking care of the poor...
He believed in taking care of the needy. He said "the poor will be with you always."

and if you look at the way Jesus lived his life - most people would say he was a socialist.
Hardly.

Now the Religious right wingers will argue that Jesus didn't mean the government, that Jesus meant the "people" should take care of the people.
Government never took care of the people back then. That task was handled by the churches, synagogues, and yes, the peole.

Ok, so isn't government made up of people?
No. People only work for the government. The government itself is comprised of a ridiculous tangle of rules.

Isn't that a core Republican argument that corporations are "people"?
No. Why would you think so?

<lots of people> seem to think so.
So?

My question to these same people is if corporations are "people" because corporations are made up of people
False premise

then wouldn't governments be "people" to, for the same reasoning?
Reasoning based on a faulty premise is itself faulty.
 
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I of course could be wrong, but my take on the theme of the thread, as set by RudedawgCDN in the OP, seems to me to be the exploration of the two-pronged question, 1) Should governments help those who need help (including various sorts of aid to the poor)?, and 2) Should governments constrain and regulate certain behaviors (especially pertaining to business, industry and finance, ie., corporate America)?

Both helping and constraining are in line with the ideal of 'equality' advocated by the US republic. The ideal of personal liberty is also an ideal advocated by the US republic. Sometimes these two, somewhat competing ideals, butt heads in apparently irreconcilable ways. But mostly, I think, the practical implementation of the ideal of 'equality' converges with the ideal of 'liberty' producing a net effect which is beneficial to the US society.

One area of most pronounced contention is governmental aid to the poor. There are, for example, very difficult questions regarding how housing, food, and monetary assistance affects the recipients in the long term. It obviously helps them in the short term, but it might be argued that it hurts in the long run and has precipitated the emergence of a societal subset with a legacy of dependence on government aid which sort of binds the members of that subset, systemically and systematically, to a 'welfare state' sort of existence. I don't know that that's necessarily the case, but if it is, then this ultimately would be decreasing the 'equality' and therefore the 'liberty' of the members of the welfare-receiving subset.

On the other hand, if welfare to the poor were to be significantly decreased, then this would not only negatively affect the short term 'equality' and 'liberty' of welfare recipients, but also the many businesses and individuals which benefit, indirectly, from governmental aid to the poor.

Imo, it's not a simple matter of philosophical 'libertarian' disagreement with 'redistribution' of the wealth to those who don't 'deserve' it -- a position which doesn't seem to be based on any notions of what's best for the US society at large, but rather on the more emotionally based criterion of 'deservedness' -- the idea being, I suppose, that the poor don't deserve the help because they didn't 'earn' it.

A condition which I think will be increasingly the case is that there's a significant portion of the US population that just isn't needed in the labor force. What should government do about that, about them? Nothing? If government helps them, then is it also helping the general economy?

My current opinion is that a systemic welfare state involving a significant number of US residents is inevitable. Even if governmental aid somewhat decreases the hypothetical long term prospects of the segment of the society that it directly affects, it's nonetheless beneficial to the general economy (the businesses and individuals that it indirectly affects), both short and long term.

And then there's the question of governmental constraints on corporate America. I think that business, finance and industry have shown that they're generally operating with more freedom than they can responsibly handle. So, more, not less, regulation is in order.
 
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A condition which I think will be increasingly the case is that there's a significant portion of the US population that just isn't needed in the labor force. What should government do about that, about them? Nothing? If government helps them, then is it also helping the general economy?

My current opinion is that a systemic welfare state involving a significant number of US residents is inevitable. Even if governmental aid somewhat decreases the hypothetical long term prospects of the segment of the society that it directly affects, it's nonetheless beneficial to the general economy (the businesses and individuals that it indirectly affects), both short and long term.

And then there's the question of governmental constraints on corporate America. I think that business, finance and industry have shown that they're generally operating with more freedom than they can responsibly handle. So, more, not less, regulation is in order.
Why would anyone not be needed in the workforce? Shouldn't everyone attempt to be productive - to pay their own way? If you're considering that minimum wage has priced certain individuals out of the workforce - I would tend to agree - some people aren't worth minimum wage (plus matching taxes and eventually benefits) - IMO.

If we accept this as a given - it doesn't mean they shouldn't work for their welfare benefits. Whether hired at minimum wage by the Government to scrub graffiti from walls and pick up road side trash or some other menial task - Section 8 housing, food stamps, and Medicaid all have costs that should be offset by this new permanent class of unemployable persons - IMO.

As for the business, finance, and industry freedom/ more regulation comment - please support.
 
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Reasoning based on a faulty premise is itself faulty.
This is not the case. For instance we may reason as follows:

1. All Greeks are warriors.
2. Penelope was Greek.
3. Penelope was a warrior.

Both the premise and the conclusion are faulty, but the reasoning is not faulty.

Neither can you say that because the premise is faulty, the conclusion is faulty. Consider the argument.

1. All Greeks are warriors.
2. Ajax was Greek.
3. Ajax was a warrior.

In this case, the premise is faulty, but the reasoning and the conclusion are not faulty.
 

russ_watters

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Everything I quoted are common right wing / republican talking points.

So I fail to see where anything is either factually wrong or nonexistant.

Just because you personally haven't heard or seen it - doesn't mean it hasn't been espoused numerous times by Republicans and right wing talk show hosts.
That quoted bit was not directed at you...
 

russ_watters

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I have heard that exact characterization repeatedly by a certain outspoken libertarian on a different forum. Sorry about the implication that such a person who says so thinks taxes should be abolished, but said person on this other forum happens to believe that exact thing, and through him I've come to associate the two ideas with each other.
It is dangerous to make such generalizations, particularly with such a weak/extreme basis.
 

russ_watters

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And as for the idea that taxes involve force, well, most human interaction involves force in one way or another. Companies compete for your market because of the force that your business carries.
The two scenarios are nowhere close to equivalent and you can't possibly not see that. Claiming they are just because you can use the same word to describe them is like saying apples and oranges are the same because they are both fruit: You're playing word games.
 

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